Q and A with Valentine from Kenya, Africa
“Be the driver, but let passion be the drive.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I am passionate about helping aspiring service-based entrepreneurs who are stuck and confused to stop going round in circles, gain clarity, formulate a strategy whilst leveraging digital marketing to continuously generate leads, and create a wildly successful business while they live the life they choose. Over the years, I have always been interested in marketing, and at the time, I didn’t know much about digital marketing. I started my job as a waitress in Dubai in 2012, whilst learning online about marketing. It took a lot of hustle, tears, hard work, rejections, training, and a huge mindset shift for me to finally land my first job in a marketing department in one of the fastest-growing cities (Dubai) and grow to become a marketing manager. Once I started, there was no stopping me; I read many books, learned everything I could, attended so many webinars. I worked successfully in the marketing field up to when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we had to stay at home. At this point, I realized there was a lot digitally that I had already accomplished and a lot more that I needed to learn. So, once again, I decided to use quarantine time to study. That is how my journey with digital marketing started. It was quite easy because I had already had the basics, so it was more of just advancing my knowledge and thinking bigger.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I grew up in a small village in Kenya, Africa. I lost my mum when I was 5. Honestly, I don’t know much about my background as I didn’t get to know my father to date. I grew up with my loving grandparents. There isn’t much to say about my background, except that I also had this fire within me that made me feel like I wasn’t extraordinary. I tried to fit in; I always wondered why I was different. Most of my skills are self-taught as I didn’t get a chance to study anything I wanted in college. I have always had a huge affection for orphans, which led me to start my foundation called TOF(Talented Orphans Family), which is geared towards developing orphans’ talents to make them independent and also teaching them skills that can make them dependable in society. This was the most fulfilling thing I had ever done, but as I was the sole financier, it came to a stop as I had an accident that caused a fracture that disrupted my earning and functioning capabilities. This would just be a tip on the iceberg to what I have endured over the years and also achieved. Everything has led me to my destiny. I am strong now, unstoppable, and ready to conquer then change the world. My experience has taught me to overcome any situation, to understand people’s situations, and to relate easily to them. I believe that this is the right time for me to make an impact.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: When you are at the saddest and lowest, most painful level you can be, that is where you get sharpened. That is the time you can become reborn. That pain is what, when used the right way, can turn you into someone very powerful. We all have this greatest strength buried deep inside each one of us; only a few people get the chance to fully experience this strength. The feeling of being unstoppable. When you have lost it all and there is nothing else to live for, you have a choice to give up or to dig deeper than ever before for your hidden strength. It’s more like a superpower. Digging and tapping into that inner strength will change you and make you as strong as steel. You will then be ready to become anything you set your mind to and there is nothing that can put you down because you already know how to get back up.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: When I talk about feminism, this comes to me on a personal level, coming from a background where women are known to stay in the kitchen and learn to be wife material. I do not want to be put in a box of what I am supposed to become or who I am supposed to be as a woman. Being a woman is just my gender; I should be judged by my capabilities, my skills, and my intelligence. When I am talking to fellow entrepreneurs, I need them to understand that being a woman or a man has nothing to do with how intelligent one is. If I succeed in something, it’s because I am just that good, not because of favors or because I am a woman.
MORE FROM VALENTINE: Something I have learned and would like to share: You do not need to make it perfect; just start and keep learning, keep improving. If you keep going, you will keep getting better.
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